Markus Shields, 23, Grand Rapids, Michigan is looking for more than just a ticket to Vegas. He’s carrying on a family tradition. His mom died when he was 12 years old, three days before Christmas. He tries to be as much like her as possible. He wants her to be proud that he’s following a dream. Her face is painted on his chest very large. He has a low lyrical start, but then kicks it into a hip hop routine. He definitely has a lot of emotion to pour out into this. After, Markus says he’s not happy with his performance, not doing as well as he wanted.
Nigel tells Markus it’s good choreography, and a group of guys doing that behind Rhianna or Fergie would be great. He thinks he’s great, but it was Markus’ face that told him he wasn’t any good. He explains it’s his mother’s face on his shirt and that she is no longer with us. Mary felt so much while he was dancing, she can’t even talk anymore. Dan points out you’ll always be able to say I could have done better, but he had no idea he messed it up, as he thought he was killing it. Nigel asks if going to the choreography round would make him happy, and Markus says it would. He leaves a happy guy.
We get the odd montage of dancers, including a krumper on pointe, zombies, and hula dancers, not to mention a girl that has her hand bark at the end of a song.
Marcus Smith 25, Hyattsville, Maryland, and Deanna Ball, 23, D.C., do D.C. Swing, a localized dance to this area, and another dance that falls into being a spinoff of the Lindy Hop. She thinks they’re the top D.C. swing dancers and wants the world to recognize what they can do. It’s definitely fun and makes me think of a very funky swing dance. Nigel explains they threw a lot of different styles in there, and it makes it very show biz with a laid back feel. Mary calls it very groovy with lots of great partnering. Dan calls it easy and natural. They’ll now get to show them how they can do with choreography.
In the choreography round, Marcus and Deanna seem to struggle. Markus with a K still doesn’t seem happy, but seems to do well. Deanna is up for the verdict first. Dan tells her they love watching her and Marcus do their thing, but it didn’t translate well here, so it’s a no for them. Marcus is told he was the stronger of the two, but it wasn’t so hot in the choreography, so it ends here for him. Marks with a K is told by Mary that he needs to remember his mother would want him to be happy. And she’s going to be happier now, as he’s going to Vegas.
It’s day two in D.C., and Brandon Bryant, Miami, FL, tells Cat he hasn’t been entirely honest, as he did audition before in season one, but he had said he was 18 at that time, making himself three years older. His mom slapped him, saying he couldn’t go, and he had to admit that the was too young. He’s now back and really 18. He does some beautiful contemporary with great jumps and lines, and I’m guessing the three years only improved him. He has a great use of the music.
Nigel tells Brandon he’s made and built for dancing, very strong and masculine. It’s be a pleasure to watch him, as he’s one of the best. Mary gives a scream and tells him he took her breath away, and they have not seen the likes of him. He’s a star. Two more little screams are added. Mary wants Dan not to disappoint her, otherwise she’ll have to spank him. That’s a different side to Mary. Dan doesn’t think he knows anyone that could do that routine, because of the combination of flexibility and technique. It blew him away. He obviously gets a ticket.
Phucdat Ngyuen, 25, Jessup, Maryland, admits he has a weird Vietnamese name, which is why he goes by the name Atomic Goofball. He was shy growing up in school without many friends. People would spit on him and throw gum in his hair, but coming into dancing let him be who he is. He’s definitely fun, but I don’t now if it’s what the show is looking for. Nigel thought he started out like a dancing tadpole and ended up like a dancing banana skin, as he changed clothing during the routine. He loved the chin crawl a cross the floor.
Mary was bored at first, but then he came to life and it started working for him, being very entertaining. Dan doesn’t know how much faith he’d be able to have outside of this, but he wants to see him in the choreography. Phucdat says he’s just realized it’s okay to be a goofball nerd. Mary and Nigel agree they want to see him in the choreography.
Mariya Priymak, 26, Houston, Texas, does a rhythmic gymnastics routine with ribbons. Its more ribbon than anything else. Nigel admits he was waiting for her to drop something, as it would at least make it exciting. Dan felt like he saw it all before, but didn’t, so it’s a no.
Anthony Bryant, 23, New York, danced a similar routine in season one and was told he wasn’t masculine enough. Guess what, he’s back, and graduated from Juliard, graduating in just three years. He is demonstrating today a contemporary modern dance with acro tumble power. It’s more dynamic and in your face, and he thinks that’s what Nigel wants to see. He’s wearing camouflage, but it’s still just as feminine as you can be. I don’t think it’s in your face, but it’s better. Nigel explains there’s a spark missing, although he’s a wonderful technician.
Nigel can’t fault the technique, although he wouldn’t have worn the camouflage. “If you look camouflage up in the dictionary, you can’t find it.” ba dum bum sshhh Mary thinks he changed and grew so much from the last time, and his technique is getting stronger, yet she too doesn’t see a spark. He admits the mess-up in the routine was because he practiced in a wider space. Dan isn’t trying to take anything away from Anthony, but he wants to know what is different this year. All three decide they want to see him again in choreography. He plans to change before the choreography.
Everyone is brought back for the choreography round, and Anthony is doing well, but Phucdat is struggling. Phucdat is thanked for being entertaining, but is let go. Anthony is told he’s a wonderful dancer, but Mary apologizes, saying they won’t be sending him through to Las Vegas. Cat consoles him, with hugs and shushes. He gets upset because he can’t find his shoes, as Goofball is promising we haven’t seen the end of him. Three’s the old Anthony and his ‘tude back, storming out the door, as Boots Are Made For Walking plays in the background. Goofball is taking his routine to the streets, and Anthony is walking and carrying his shoes saying, “Bleep these people.”
We have just one more night of auditions next week, and I have to admit I’m getting kind of excited for the Las Vegas round. We’ve had some really good performers get through, and none of them dance with ribbon or in cameos.
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